This past week has been another doozy for us parents in New York [“Battle on school masking,” News, Jan. 27]. We saw that, once again, politics and gaining a win trumps protecting our kids and their health.
A Nassau County judge deeming the mask mandate invalid by process, but admitting it can’t be said that it’s been ineffective, was awful. Then our school districts changing guidance based on this was a disaster. Seeing parents celebrate this mess was even worse.
Our children once again are coming in second. These kids who have showed more strength and perseverance over the past two years than most adults are now being lied to that this is a political issue when it is indeed a health one.
What should have been a comprehensive communication and rollout approach to all state schools based on this new information instead turned into a political mess, which many of our local politicians tout as a win. We still have zero guidance on how the removal of mask mandates changes quarantine rules, impacts our immunocompromised population, and how this will affect events in the future. Most kids wore masks this week in school, even when it was optional, because they understood the need.
Why can’t the adults on Long Island do the same?
— Danielle Karr, Point Lookout
The recent courageous decision by Nassau Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rademaker properly rejected Gov. Kathy Hochul’s mask mandates as being unconstitutional [“Judge rejects mask law,” News, Jan. 25]. The decision correctly has little to do with the public health debate.
It has everything to do with upholding the rule of law, preserving due process, the Constitution, the separation of powers, and the prevention of a dangerous expansion of power of administrators who are not accountable to the people they are supposed to serve.
Hochul needs to be reminded that the state legislature is a separate and equal partner in government and that she is not empowered to impose policies on her own. Ironically, her behavior repeats the same arrogant policies of her predecessor.
Only elected legislative representatives can pass such far-sweeping, impactful policies, ensuring accountability to those who go to the polls and determine who will represent them in our democratic republic.
— Ronald Rosenberg, Oyster Bay
I think I’ve figured out why some politicians and judges are against being safe and wearing masks. They believe that the planet is overpopulated and want to do their part to stop population growth. Is there any other reason that can even be close to logical? The comfort of a few people is more important than the health and safety of the vast majority? I think not.
We know that common sense is not so common, but to have judges and leaders of the community acting with such blatant disregard for the greater good of all is unconscionable.
In the United States alone, when 2,000 die in one day from COVID-19, that’s the equivalent of four jumbo jets crashing. If that happened, no one would fly.
A solution in schools is to have two classrooms, one for masked students and one for unmasked, and live-streaming remote learning into the room with the unmasked so the teacher and responsible students are not put in danger. Everyone would get the same lesson, and if students are home sick, they can do remote learning.
— Daniel Geskie, Valley Stream
Today, the phrase “law and order” is fast becoming an oxymoron. Laws are part of a regulatory system, which are enforced and carry possible penalties. Order is how people relate to each other and is rooted in decency and respect.
Regarding the mask/unmask debate, yes, it matters how the courts are ruling — but only when it comes to the law. Behaving in an orderly manner is completely different. For example, there is no law prohibiting a party of four from rushing to sit down at their favorite restaurant. Considerate patrons, though, wait for their group to be called and seated. Likewise, most people tend to patiently wait their turn in line at the grocery store or at a theater, but there is no law preventing them from cutting the line.
New York State’s mask mandate might ultimately be determined to be unlawful or unconstitutional. That does not mean it’s not the proper thing to do. If only we looked in the mirror, instead of looking for loopholes.
— Joe Innace, East Islip
My children are students at Cherokee Elementary School in the Connetquot school district. I am confident that the principal and assistant principal have put student and staff safety and mental health at the forefront during this pandemic. This is despite the comments by Dr. Brad Lindell, a high school psychologist [“School mask situation is ‘out of control,’ ” News, Jan. 20]. He apparently can’t figure out a better way to educate and help a school full of kids who have COVID-19 fatigue other than calling them out in the media. This is a shame and waste of a good teaching moment.
My children have had life-changing teachers who deserve to be respected and recognized for their hard work during these trying times, not called out. I cannot understand blaming the school district any more than I can understand blaming the kids. Teachers are not in the schools to police the students.
— Michelle Brennan, Ronkonkoma
We’re all frustrated by COVID-19’s ability to constantly mutate and pose new challenges to our health care researchers [“LIers frustrated by CDC guideline changes,” News, Jan. 14]. However, it’s baffling that anyone could be puzzled by basic safety recommendations when they have been consistent for months: Get vaccinated and boosted when available, wear a mask, and socially distance. Even if schools’ or employers’ requirements change, it’s no big deal if you’ve followed the basic protocols.
Maybe we’re just too soft and spoiled. Look at the draconian safety measures in other countries such as Italy or China with lockdowns. Does a segment of Long Islanders care more about politics than health? Is it happy to blame the government for every problem while refusing to take personal responsibility for endangering others? Either way, it’s disheartening that at a time of crisis, instead of coming together to address this challenge, we only complain.
— Sue Hornik, Bellport
Negating the state mask mandate is a socioeconomic hardship on seniors and people with compromised immune systems and other health issues. We are being held prisoners in our own homes because we cannot risk contracting COVID-19. Masks must be used indoors, be they stores, arenas or any other indoor gathering.
I’m disgusted and fed up!
— Helene Schneider, Elmont